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Xiao Zhang is the grand prize winner of the 2021 Architecture Illustration Competition.

"My illustrations focus on 'narrative', which means I want to express a story through them," says Xiao Zhang.

I come from Suining, an inland city in southwest China. I am currently doing my master's degree in landscape architecture at Wageningen University & Research in the Netherlands. As a landscape student, my own learning goal is to learn as much as possible the cross-influence between landscape and other fields.

Studying landscape in the Netherlands allows me to re-think landscape from a more crosse-field perspective. The Netherlands is famous for its unique landscapes formed by water treatment and precise land use planning, which is the reason why I came here to study.

First of all, I really enjoy making visualizations. For studio work, I am always willing to try different styles besides rendering. The reason I participated in this competition is that I want to see how people from all around the world use illustrations to express architecture and to learn from other contestants, they are all great. My illustrations focus on 'narrative', which means I want to express a story through them. This might be related to my study in landscape architecture since when making landscape renderings, it is important to express the activities of visitors, to show the readers what kind of stories could happen.

I started to use illustrations as a 'diary' to record my memories. For example, I was in ZEELAND last summer, I drew one illustration after I came back, and now I could immediately think of the feelings ZEELAND left me every time I saw it.  When drawing these illustrations, I could carefully recall my memories again and try to find and focus on those impressive memory fragments.

Follow Xiao on Instagram.

Xiao Zhang is the grand prize winner of the 2021 Architecture Illustration Competition.Xiao Zhang is the grand prize winner of the 2021 Architecture Illustration Competition.Xiao Zhang is the grand prize winner of the 2021 Architecture Illustration Competition.Xiao Zhang is the grand prize winner of the 2021 Architecture Illustration Competition.

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